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November 4, 2019

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How to Calm Anxiety

November 30, 2018

With Garden Therapy, Meditation, & Acceptance

 

Life is hard! That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years.

 

No one has it easy. No matter how beautiful, put together, or relaxed someone appears on Instagram, guaranteed, they have difficult times in their life. We all struggle with fear of the unknown, fear of change, getting stuck in a rut with our spouses, etc. The list goes on! A Buddhist saying goes ‘we all have 75 problems going at one time’. It never changes; once one problem gets solved another one jumps in its place.

 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I recently finished writing my latest book Grow a Salad in Your City Apartment. It’s been exhilarating, but also at times, stressful. My goal was to write a book that helps people grow their own food in a small city environment and also have a way of relieving stress and anxiety in their lives. Being in nature is very therapeutic. Even in winter, I have bundled up my kids and taken them for a walk to pick up interesting stones and their happiness is radiant. They are filled with energy and vitality. It’s no different for adults. I think a lot of the reason gardening helps is about having that quiet, secret place to “hide” and take time for yourself.

 

My favorite way to experience this: Sitting in the sun and closing my eyes to feel the rays of sun on my face. Basking in the sun like a cat. No phone to distract. Then I write in my journal any thoughts that come to me.

 

Take all of this as simply my experience and not as if I am a guru or expert. I am a very busy Mama, wife, and business owner who struggles with stress and anxiety just as much as you do. 

 

Tips for an Immediate Feeling of Calm

 

Try to lift your eyes from the day-to-day “managing”, and clearly be present in the moment. Grab that moment that your child or partner offers and hold their gaze for 10 solid minutes while they talk to you. Really listen to them. Don’t have a running dialog going on in your mind while they’re talking. Give them the gift of pure listening.


If you’re feeling too anxious to be in a space with someone else, focus on yourself and getting back to equilibrium. Try to let the emotions wash over you and let them go. Don’t hold on to them. In Michael A. Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, he talks about clinging. We cling to negative emotions and we cling to bad memories and play them over and over in our head. Stop clinging. Let them fly free. You will have more space for happiness, excitement, creativity and fun. Sometimes I need to exercise to feel better. I do Interval Yoga, which involves short bursts of intense poses, followed by short rests. It really gives you a fabulous high of happiness at the end.

 

You can read more at my dear friend Cassie's lovely blog Maiden to Mother!